Saturday, November 29, 1980

Saturday November 29th

Amazingly enough, I woke up with my alarm at seven although I didn’t get up for another three hours. There was still snow on the ground and it was sunny though really cold outside – a superb morning.

Dad volunteered to take me into Easterby in the car and we parked on the library car park at 11.50 a.m. Dad wandered down through town with me to Smith’s on Queensgate where he bought Robert and Carols’ Christmas presents – a book each; one on birds for Robert and a wildflower one for Carol.

After a time there I went back up into town and spent the next two hours in restless indecision – wandering from shop to shop unable to see a thing I thought would be suitable. I was also looking for birthday cards for Pearson’s birthday next Wednesday – all the ones I could see were either too vague or too personal. I hate that feeling of pointlessness which overcomes you – I hadn’t achieved a thing in two hours of looking round – so frustrating.

In desperation almost I went on Lockley Lane to the second hand book shop there and started looking for a present for Robert or Carol. The books there are really good – there were loads of books I wouldn’t have minded – a good one by Bernard Shaw on socialism. I bought an 1878 Entomology book for Robert and Carol; a joint present; for £4.00.

So I set off again; hope renewed, and went to Eastgate Smith’s where I bought two birthday cards (amusing ones) and came home satisfied.

It really is bitterly cold – it snowed again briefly today – and winter must be on us for certain now.

I passed my evening away playing records upstairs or downstairs talking to Mum and Dad or watching television. They were in good moods tonight – friendly and light hearted. Today has gone quickly – I’ve felt restless in a way.

Friday, November 28, 1980

Friday November 28th

I went to school at 8.20 as normal and it was clear and sunny yet bitterly cold. First lesson was private study so everyone packed the library. Inevitably, I ended up talking once more with Deborah Blakey and Claire Pearson. Deborah said that last night, at about ten, Jeremy had rung her up to ask her why she was snubbing him – he was on the ‘phone for over an hour. He blamed it all on her and, she said, she ended up crying at the end. She told him that it was being done to show him that he cant do things to people and get away with it (hypocrisy, in other words). Claire came over and started telling Deborah about something – I was sat so close I couldn’t help but be drawn in.

She told me a bit more about this Michael, whom she wants to go out with I suspect (“What would you think if a girl asked you out?”- “I’d probably think she was a bit forward”) and I went to Biology at 9.55 a.m. feeling that same old feeling of jealousy and confusion.

During Biology it began to snow, the first snow of 1980/81 winter, and it became so heavy that it settled and was about a quarter of an inch deep. Everyone was out throwing snowballs. For the lesson we dissected rats; one each for all six of us. I found dissection much easier than I’d expected although the smell was a bit much. We had to string out the alimentary canal and remove the ribs to expose the heart and lungs. Mark Pittock’s rat was pregnant, and he had to remove all the bean-sized embryos.

At break, everyone seemed to be conversing with Jeremy again. I found we’re having bacon ribs on December 6th.

Triple Biology really is too much – I’ve been thinking lately more seriously about quitting it because the work load is immense; yet when I think I realise I’m not working to my full capacity at all and perhaps what’s motivating me to think like this are thoughts of unconnected things. I didn’t have a lunch and sat in the common room with the usuals.

Last period was History – it really is getting deep now (Blanquism etc.,) – and I went home in the bright sun, crunching through crisp snow.

My evening, so stereotyped again, went restlessly. Athletic’s match was cancelled because of the weather and I did absolutely nothing. There was a lot on the tele’ about the Strangler again; there hasn’t been a day go by lately without my thinking about him (it) and it seems to be reaching a climax – loads of activity, phone calls (hoaxes usually) and an air of expectant fear about generally. He threatened to do another tonight. I’ll find out whether he has or not tomorrow.

I’m going into Easterby again in the morning to go to the library. I intend buying Pearson a birthday card.

Thursday November 27th

I spent my morning in the library with Deborah and Duncan. We talked about Jeremy – Deborah saying that he’ll get a big shock when he starts work. Apparently last night at the meeting of the editorial committee she asked him to make some coffee – he refused and called her a “bitch” – Just lately with him it has become a succession of similar incidents – he’s called Angela Reid and Claire Pearson a “fucking bitch” and Deborah a “lying bitch” so we decided, to teach him a lesson, to ignore him. He’s so bloody unsociable.

I talked a lot to Deborah – about their friends, Jeremy, and I also asked her about Pearson’s birthday present (“she won’t be expecting one”). First lesson was English with Slicer – I handed in the wrong book deliberately so I could complete my scene notes tonight.

We didn’t have Hirst today – instead we had a talk by a police Inspector from Farnshaw (Butcher) answering our questions. He was a typical police man – authoritarian, “I was proceeding down the high street” type voice – and, as expected, a right wing reactionary.

We all sat there until 2.30, at which everyone went except about six of us so the thing was much more personal. We had a big thing about the ‘sus’ law, in which this bloke was saying that it operates on a suspicion basis – once someone’s been picked on suspicion he’s got to prove his innocence – so I piped up, (I remember the words exactly) – “Surely that contravenes the old adage that a person is innocent until proved guilty” – to which he answered yes.

It was throwing it down again come college time – sour face went off on his own and Lee, Duncan and Richard came to see my bedroom (I called home to get my cagoul) before we all went to college. Not a word spoken to Jeremy.

I spent all evening completing my scene notes. I got a shock – it really shit me up – for when I was sat downstairs at one a.m. just underlining all my quotations when suddenly someone, something rapped against the window. The cat leaped up – I did, heart pounding – and his hackles rising, he poked his head between the curtains to see what it was. I daredn’t look. He hissed viciously and growled. It could’ve been a cat, or that masked rapist, or even the WHINCLIFFE STRANGLER!!!

Thursday, November 27, 1980

Wednesday November 26th

I didn’t like today in a way because suddenly I’ve started to feel really inadequate. We were talking, as usual, in the library. Second period, Pearson, Hoy, Verity and me were alone in the library and we talked about Wendy Truswell and the new Maths teacher who go out together. Pearson also told us about an end of term party Gledhill held for his Biology group and how Truswell and Mr Armitage were found together in a darkened bedroom.

Suddenly, Duncan invented this thing, saying that I fancied Evelyn Aylott. I denied it strenuously, Claire saying to me “you’ve no need to be embarrassed,” making me fear that she believed him. She had also heard about this Susan Mathers thing in the third year (who hasn’t). Then Claire asked me, at point blank range, if I had ever been out with a girl. I lied of course and it must’ve showed for she said, I didn’t seem the type.

This left me feeling inadequate and a bit down. She told us about these lads they go around with, “you wouldn’t get on.” This didn’t help – we must be irreconcilable – we school lot and their socialites. I just generally hate me; my inability when confronted with girls. I just can’t help it – it’s so frustrating. Tongue-tied, swollen lipped and dry mouthed.

Fourth period was private study and in Hirst’s lesson I had my page preparations to do. I read out the necessarys right at the end of the lesson – it was hellish at first but halfway through it was OK.

After school I went up to the common room for the second meeting of the editorial committee – there were six of us, excluding Hirst; me, Lee, Jeremy, Richard, Rachel Johnson (5th), Andrew Boyd (5th), another fifth year lad (with glasses) and two other fifth year girls. It was another light-hearted meeting; we discussed all the printing problems (£400 for 500 copies) and drew up rough draughts of the daily notices, advertising both name and cover competitions, and giving publicity to the meetings.

Disquiet as I could see Blakey and Pearson drifting in and out of room in the distance.

I had to begin my “Antony and Cleopatra” scene summaries when I got home. Mum was in a stinking mood, because she was tired I think. Dad wasn’t too hot because he had neck ache. Thrilling evening!! I came to bed at ten and did my scene summaries up to Act 3 Scene 4 by midnight.

About all of the above – it is most likely being trivial and immature. I can’t help but feel jealous though. They don’t consider me or take me seriously – I’m so superficial with them – and out of school I’d be boring (in it I’m not much good). I’m being like Anne Elliot now, in her petty passions over Wentworth. I can’t help me!!

Tuesday, November 25, 1980

Tuesday November 25th

The usual History and Biology – the former was interesting because we’re getting on to dialectics and thesis, antithesis and synthesis. I was also interested to hear about how Lenin altered Marxism to fit the circumstances. This fits in with the theory of ‘proto-truths’ which I’m reading about in Edward de Bono’s “The Happiness Purpose,” which I bought in July. In otherwords, no such thing as an absolute truth but something which holds true under a particular set of circumstances and which is open to revision.

I had the last two periods free and at dinnertime I talked with Claire about bedrooms – I asked her all about hers (I don’t really know why). She also told Lee about this do on Dec 6th – we’ll have to buy her presents so I’ll have to ask Deborah what she likes.

Today also, I gave my 30p in to our kitty for coffee, sugar, milk and biccies for break and dinnertimes. Ten of us are involved – Claire, Michelle, Julie, Richard, Duncan, Lee, Tommy, Jeremy, me, and Deborah. This is all organised off our own bats because it’ll be better than relying on school's.

I made a feeble effort to begin my page preparation for Hirst tomorrow in the last hour before registration and I didn’t get a thing done.

As usual, we stayed behind after school for Art, amusing ourselves by pinning all the notices on both boards back up the wrong way – that is upside down, and rearranging all the chairs. When 3.30 p.m came, it was absolutely bucketing it down; constant, torrential rain. By the time I got to Egley Lane I was drenched – I just couldn’t face going to Art in that state. I came home.

After an evening of lethargy and “Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World” (the last one) I came to bed at nine-thirty. I was faced with huge amounts of English and I just couldn’t get down to it – I had a sort of resigned desperation almost as I thought about my task. I did manage to do (after a fashion) my page preparations for tomorrow and my ten minute blush parade before the group.

Today, Athletic signed Tom Wicks from Darlington. They had him on loan for four months halfway through last season and he scored five goals. When I read it in the Echo I was really jubilant! Nothing can stop us now.

Monday, November 24, 1980

Monday November 24th

I got to school at the normal time, a bit earlier than usual and after assembly I sat in the common room with Deborah, Claire, Julie, Michelle, Lee, Jeremy, Duncan, Richard and Tommy. I put up a pretence of doing my English – the absolute volume is overwhelming and just to think of it is making me feel ill – and as usual, I did little.

Second period Lee and Pearson went to Geography and I did my Biology. In History, I forgot my file of notes so I had to start on paper.

I generally enjoy school; at dinnertime we all talked and the usual group socialised. After another hour of History we had Biology. Since one of the group had a Geography lecture and two others were ill, Mark Pittock, Tracey Booth and me went down to try and persuade Mrs Wade to allow us to have the lesson for private study – she collared us and went over our test papers with us (I got 5/10). Christ, I was so annoyed. She seemed to be doing it deliberately, keeping us there as time ticked preciously away. I really did try to escape her clutches but she wouldn’t let us go until ten minutes before the end when I gratefully went up to the common room.

I didn’t go to afternoon registration because I was setting out the chairs in the common room, for this debate. The motion was, “This house believes that Euthanasia should be legalised.” Proposing the motion were Mandy Jenkinson and Duncan Verity whilst opposing were Claire Pearson and Deborah Blakey. Although things started off lively enough, we soon became bogged down in the wording of the motion. People disagreed about the wording; either “voluntary euthanasia,” “suicide” or just plain “euthanasia” so we had a quarter of an hour squabble, amending things, and reamending the amendments.

Claire’s speech was the poorest quality wise (she said she forgot her point half way through) and she was really nervous - I could see her trembling from where I was sat. I walked on to the barber’s with Pearson (including her younger sister) and Deborah B. after the debate. I love the way I’m becoming much more involved in ‘conversations’ with them – they seem willing to talk to me. I also got invited to another party – Claire asked me if I had enjoyed Saturday evening and then said that on Saturday Dec 6th I was invited to the Pearson celebration of her birthday (not a birthday party as such she said). The only thing about this was I was a bit annoyed with myself for being perhaps a bit terse with Deborah – not really terse but I gave her the wrong answers and I’m feeling now that perhaps she feels I’m ratty. I’m most likely totally silly.

I hardly had anything cut off my hair – mostly thinned out and I wish my hair was like this all the time.

Another noting evening – no bloody homework attempted again. I played records in my bedroom mainly.

I must be in a good mood just lately because tonight I was whistling and singing quite happily along with the music. I really do enjoy their company. It is hard to define precisely. But the way they seem to really want to talk to me and know me and be friendly. Whether it’s näieve or not I don’t know but I certainly feel good and almost excited.

Sunday, November 23, 1980

Sunday November 23rd

A total nothing day, a stop gap between Sunday and Monday. I thought a lot about last-night today; inflating the event out of all proportion I know but its good to have friends.

I got up at midday and sat about. God! Nanna P goes on and on and on – always about Kenneth and Shirley. No matter what the subject, it’s always steered back to that subject. About two o’clock, Mum, Dad and N. P. went out to Withenkirk for a quick walk on the moors. I stayed behind (“I’ve some homework”). I started my Antony and Cleopatra scene notes mid-afternoon – I completed Act 1 Scene II and got halfway through Scene III.

At teatime, I went up and had a bath while N. P. was conveyed back home. After this I watched the first half of “Young Winston” before coming to bed quite early.

As is evident from today, nothing happened at all. I was eager for the evening to pass because I’m looking forward to Monday. I’ve got loads of homework but for some reason, it doesn’t seem to matter. I’ve been thinking about Saturday evening and how nice Deborah Blakey and Claire Pearson are as people. I know I don’t really know them at all but the novelty of having friends of the opposite sex is ace good.

Saturday, November 22, 1980

Saturday November 22nd

I once more got up late and after an uneasy hour in Mum and Dad's miserable, sighing company I was glad to get away.

I went first to Smiths where I looked at the books downstairs before going to look for that half-price bookshop – I just couldn’t find it. I went up and down all the various streets but just hadn’t the foggiest idea of where it was. Frustrated I went down to Praxis, came away without buying and had another crack.

Eureka! I bought Andrew that Tadanori Yokoo poster book for £2 so that’s him off my mental list. From there I went to the library and took the four books back (“Battle Royal – unread – “Lenin and the Russian Revolution” unread; “First Blood”; unread; and “Rupert of the Rhine”; unread). The total fine was 40p but they were only a couple of days overdue.

I got home at 3.15 – it’d cost me £1.28p to go into Easterby. I listened to the radio (N. P had arrived) and to Athletic drawing 1-1 at Ryburn (Reg Goldman scored) before having my hair washed and setting off to Lee’s at 5.45. Duncan rang me while I was out too so I rang him back.

I got to Lee’s at 6.30 (or thereabouts) and we walked up to Blakey’s arriving at 7.15. Her home is quite nice – a bungalow – and is in a nicer part of Crimshaw and we were ushered in by Deborah looking very chic in a pale blue-green evening dress. Claire Pearson and Duncan Verity were there, as were Mr and Mrs Blakey who were getting ready to go out to a Beer festival.

They soon went and we were all left on our own. Initially we all settled down to a game of “Monopoly” (how jolly) but that soon faded as we started talking.

We watched a bit of television and talked. Jeremy, it was revealed, had declined to come because I’d insulted him (?). It was very warm in the room and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. The low point of the evening, inevitable as low points are, came half-way through when Lee knocked over a pot of coffee, and things generally took on an air of boredom.

After “Hammer House of Horror” finished at 10.15 we switched off the television and just talked – not about anything really, just things – but the atmosphere was such that it was enjoyable. Better than my normal Saturday night entertainments anyway.

Deborah’s Mum and Dad came back at 10:40 and her Mum gave me a lift back. Deborah and Claire came along for the ride and I got back at 11.15.

I really have enjoyed the evening – nothing spectacular but it makes a change. The whole atmosphere and the air of friendliness was so novel to me, socially backward as I am, that I could’ve stopped for a lot longer easily. I’m now wanting to go to this Christmas do on December 15th or 16th. Roll on Monday!!

Friday, November 21, 1980

Friday November 21st

I got up at about twenty past seven and went almost immediately, without any breakfast or even tea. It was still half-light; I like that time in a morning; and when I reached school at about 7.35 a.m. it was empty except for the cleaners.

I set the chairs out and was helped by Duncan and Richard Houlding when they arrived ten minutes after me. Pearson arrived at eight and Tommy Whelan, Michelle Cliff and Jeremy ten minutes after. Julie C. was the last to arrive, apart from Lee who rolled in at 8.20.

We were a bit pushed for time so we get ready quickly. The play went off well and got the best response of any of the years; all the laughs in the right places. Barkston was watching this performance, as was Mr. Ingham, and unfortunately Lee swore (“bloody”) towards the end of the play. Technically everything went well and it was generally agreed that today’s was the best performance.

After getting all cleaned up and changed, I got into English late. We were still discussing the use of studying Literature and we ended up by comparing the value and entertainment of Ian Fleming and Wm Shakespeare. From then on, I had the usual hated Biology, in which we did an experiment involving yeast and the sugars fructose, galactose and glucose. It didn’t work and anyway, even if it had, it wouldn’t have told me a great deal.

We went on first lunch at twelve and at dinnertime something occurred which really flustered me. Deborah Blakey asked me, Jeremy, Duncan and Lee if we wanted to go up to her house (122 Croft Manor Avenue) tomorrow (“suppertime, between seven and half-past” just to have a “coffee and a chat” as she put it). I must’ve blushed immediately because Lee mentioned it. Jeremy, pompous sod that he is, thought it beneath his dignity and declined but I accepted. Blush, blush.

I spent my hour of theory for Biology only half-listening; I was too busy thinking. I’ve gone on about wanting an opportunity like this for weeks and now its come I can hardly wait. Pearson is going up too. Sounds shallow I know but so what!?

In a way though I’m scared of making a berk of myself by taking it too seriously – no mention of it was made in afternoon registration and I was left feeling doubtful. Will it seem to others (ie Lee, Duncan) that I’m being over eager? I’ll have to ring Deborah or Duncan up. Also, I felt such a fool for blushing like that, making it obvious what, subconsciously or otherwise, I thought. It must’ve been so bloody obvious!

I got home at three and Dad was in. He’d gone off sick because he feels ill (obviously) and thinks his cold has something to do with him shaving his beard off, which he did earlier this week.

Another mundane, utterly boring evening sat watching the television. I came to bed at nine thirty out of sheer boredom more than anything else.

Tomorrow, what should I do? I’ll go probably but I feel that Lee will see it as me fancying Blakey.

I go on about others being morons, but rereading the above I am just as obsessed with trivia and irrelevancies as people I criticise.

Thursday, November 20, 1980

Thursday November 20th

I enjoyed today. The weather was as crummy as usual on the way to school.

I whiled away the morning doing my Art and some of my English for Slicer in the common room with Duncan and Deborah Blakey while Jeremy and Richard Houlding played tennis. Lee and Pearson were in Geography although we did see them at break.

Slicer wasn’t in school so we had the fourth period for private study – we all sat in a big group near the door of the common room and I ended up sat with Claire (again). Looked at like that it really does seem as if there’s something there. She sat on my left and just before the bell went, at about 1.25 p.m., she somehow asked me – got me doing this thing where I read out the part of Anthony and she was Cleopatra. We read out – to ourselves really – from Act 1 Scene III from where Antony enters to line 65 or thereabouts. Romantic eh?, as Deborah said. Claire Pearson must be a flirt (sounds like something from the ‘twenties).

I enjoyed English with Hirst as a result of the above. I have to prepare for the first couple of pages of Chapter 13 for a public discussion for next Wednesday.

After school, a few of us stayed behind in the common room until 3.30 p.m. and Art. Jeremy and I found a good title for the school mag’: “AB EXTRA” (it doesn’t sound or look as good now!).

After the usual routine Art work (ink and wash images of bones) I had to hurry home because Dad bought us some tickets for a Guards’ band concert and it was tonight. Barely had I taken my coat off than I had to start getting ‘ready’. We set off at 6.45 p.m., and we were walking through the Holy Well subway as St. Cuthbert’s struck seven.

Victoria Hall was soon packed, with the majority of the audience being typical blue-blood, ex-servicemen types with their proper wives who are always as ugly as sin. It was all a bit sickening. At the very beginning, before the concert proper had begun, we all had to stand for the National Anthem – as I looked around at the serried ranks of bald, white whiskered or blue-tinted heads I suddenly thought that they all looked identical – they were all like clones almost – all in suits and ties with shiny sensible shoes, the women all with glasses and many in fur coats. Repulsive!!

The concert, staged by the Band of the Scots Guards was quite good, the Sutherland Highlanders being the best. All blood-and-thunder stuff. For the finalé, the bands did a piece called “The Battle of Waterloo,” which involved various firings of mortars and different contingents marching to and fro. It was intended as a reconstruction of the battle, and as such was pretty good (except; with all the mortar smoke drifting about the smoke detectors were suddenly triggered and the bands had to compete with the persistent beep-beep of the alarm).

We got back to the car in Thomas St. car park at exactly ten. I came to bed after watching “Sky at Night” (all about Saturn) and tomorrow I’ve to be up at school for 7.30 a.m., because we’re presenting this play for the fifth years.

Wednesday November 19th

For the first two periods I sat in the common room with Duncan, Lee, Deborah B., C. Pearson and J. Crabtree. Jeremy had gone to see Big B. about this school magazine and he came back with a copy of Broxbourne private school’s mag., called “Badger.” We amused ourselves by reading out the names – Cutts-Watson and Somerville-Large being examples.

Somehow, I don’t know how, C. P. got talking to us about her older brother – how she, her parents and her sisters, never talk to him because he is such a bastard. She started off sat over by Jeremy but ended up sat next to me (trivial again!).

She told us of how, a few years ago, her brother once bust her nose for her and also how he had punched her sister in the stomach several times. “He carried on hitting her because she wouldn’t cry” she said. It really quite shocked me – I said that I would’ve reported him. It was nothing to do with us really, but she seemed almost eager to divulge all!

This week was English tutorial with Mrs Bastow – it was quite interesting because she went on about Chaucer and his involvement with the Plantagenets.

More installments of the Pearson social story at dinnertime, with her telling us about how he dragged his sister all the way to school by her feet.

We next had two solid hours of English, first with Slicer, and then with Hirst, and we were given loads to do in both lessons. For “Anthony and Cleopatra” we were told to write up all our scene summaries, notes etc., for next week, and in Hirst’s lesson we were given a bollocking. She criticised us for not reading Persuasion – apparently only half the group has actually bothered to read through the whole book – and told us to write up all our notes for next week. I just thought; what a hell of a lot of work I have to do – I have only got one file of work and that’s for History – I have nothing for English, Biology or Art. I must really start to work.

We arranged a meeting of the school magazine “editorial committee” in the common room with Hirst after school.

There were six of us; me, Lee, Jeremy, Duncan, Richard Houlding and Tommy Whelan and we discussed all the ideas, drawing up a rough list of contents, and at the end of the meeting I was quite fired with enthusiasm. Because Anderson controls money and prestige etc., it’s got to toe the line to a certain extent – one thing I thought of; we could have a satirical cartoon strip; “The Caped Crusader”’ based on Barkston, righting moral wrongs etc. We arranged a next meeting day for next Monday and I’m quite looking forward to the whole idea!

Yet another deadly boring evening, slumped in front of the box. The Whincliffe Strangler strangled no 6 yesterday – a 35 year old teacher – and the whole thing is frightening. All the girls who walk home on their own at night from school – all potential victims. Everybody forgets after 10 months, which is the length of time between this and murder no 5.

I watched England beat Switzerland 2-1 at Wembley in the evening before coming to bed at midnight.

Tuesday, November 18, 1980

Tuesday November 18th

Tuesday. So much like other days. It began, as expected, with History in C9, after a short talk given to us by Ingham in the common room. It was for all 6A people and, basically, all he told us about was the range of opportunities available to us. He advised us to look through the prospecti (!) (prospectuses?) in the library and gradually formulate a vague idea of what we intend doing.

He also told Jeremy and I (me and Jeremy? – I never know which) about a lecture at Arkley Villas in Lockley about Oswald Mosley, which will take place on Nov. 28th. He said it’d be educational if we attended. In his room, just before the lesson, he gave me two books to “help” me on my essay concerning Marxism. They were “To the Finland Station” (“The classic study of the origins of communism”) by Edmund Wilson and Sabine’s “History of Political Theory” which looks so heavy. I began reading the former when I got home – quite good.

In History we continued charting the activities of the Provisional Government between March and November 1917 and discussed some of the reasons for failure (dualism, fear of “stikhia”). In Biology we did nothing (well, we had a test on movement in and out of cells).

For most of the rest of the day, we (Jeremy, Duncan and Tommy Whelan and Richard Houlding) talked about this idea for a school magazine. Beaumont has seen Hirst about it – she seems to feel it’ll be OK – and if things come off it will be glossy (with pictures); half A-4 size; and will include quizzes, sports coverage, record reviews etc. I was given record reviews to write, provisionally. A provisional title is “Inside Out,” which I suggested, and which, amazingly, people liked.

Over the magazine thing, the first edition of which will appear in March 1981, I feel a little anxious. How to write the articles will be the problem, what approach? How will the thing be worded? Will people like what I write? I need to gain confidence.

My evening was boring again – got home from Art at about six-thirty after talking with Bateson on the way back – and I came to bed at ten after reading “To the Finland Station” for most of the time.

The weather today was absolutely crap!, and the rain was so heavy during Biology I’m surprised it didn’t rain in anywhere.

Monday, November 17, 1980

Monday November 17th

I got up just after Mum had set off for work and finally got downstairs at about ten past eight. I hate getting up late.

We had no school assembly this morning and I spent my two free periods in the Common room talking with Jeremy Beaumont and D. Verity. The former about the B & H tennis tournament which he visited at the weekend and to the latter about everything.

In History I got my “. . . eve of WW1” essay back – Ingham said that I hadn’t answered the question correctly – as an essay for the reasons for failure in the war it was good, but he didn’t give me a mark. Biology as unproductive as ever.

In the evening I went to the EAS. Since Dad was going to N.B’s he ran me there in the car. There are a lot of new faces at the meetings just lately – I’m one of the Society’s longest serving members – I first went on January 10th 1977 and became a member on the 17th. I sat there, as I usually do, a silent member of the majority – a kind of permanent fixture – always there. We had a lecture on comets from Dr Hughes of Sheffield University and it was excellent. We’ve had the bloke before – he’s quite small and untidy but enthuses over his subject – in fact he’s similar to the actor who plays the lead in “Ring of Bright Water.” His lecture was interesting, concerning all the usual; orbits; composition; origin etc., and he ended with a little piece on the Tunguska event of 1908.

Uncle Arnold was at NBs when I got there with his growling dog – and we got home at about ten-thirty. I came to bed after watching “Film ’80.”

Sunday, November 16, 1980

Sunday November 16th

Did absolutely nothing – a complete waste of living. I could just’ve well not bothered getting up for what good it did. I finally arose at midday and sat listening to records downstairs and looking at the paper. I expect I had some homework to do – I didn’t bother looking – probably Biology if any. It seems that nowadays I can’t be bothered about anything. I wonder, if life required effort, would I be bothered to put any into it. Sometimes I doubt it.

Today I was just so lethargic – not really bored because I had enough to do. Life is so monotonous and nullifying. What I said last week is so true – outside school I have nothing – no friends, no life really. I should make the most of my opportunities.

Just lately this diary has become like a bloody psychiatrist's notebook – what have I got to moan about?!

Saturday, November 15, 1980

Saturday November 15th

I got up really late – almost twelve – but since the weather was abysmal once more I had an excuse. I was a bit peeved though, because I’d wanted to do so much.

Since Mum and Dad were going out shopping I managed to cadge a lift into Easterby. It was raining steadily when I got there so I went straight into Eastgate Mall and to WH Smiths where I bought a book – a paperback costing 95p called “The Book of Heroic Failures.”

From there I went on to a new bookshop which Dad told me about – it’s up Purley Street I think – and I spent quite a while there. The books were incredibly cheap; all around the £1.50- £3.00 mark and were all brand new (or near enough). I hovered around for an hour or so undecided as to whether or not to buy one of my Christmas presents there. I will I think, because they have loads of Art books for £1.50. I also looked at a large format book; “Tropical Birds of the World”; which is an idea for Robert.

It was throwing it down when I came out at 2.15, a really miserable day. I set off to go to the library (I had brought my books) but I changed my mind when I realised that I wouldn’t have time if I also went to the football. Instead then, I nipped down to Praxis Bookshop, my first visit for months. It was just the same. I love the atmosphere there, a mixture of things. All those pamphlets, books, brimming with Ideas and ‘information’. It’s also slightly daring and different.

I came out of PB at 2.40 and walked to Cardigan Park in the continued filth. The Shed was packed because of the rain so I had to stand near the back. The pitch was muddy and waterlogged, especially in the middle, and it led to some exciting stuff; sliding tackles and mistakes. Athletic were much the better side and Gav Redman was ace. Just lately he’s come really good and is really fast down the wings. All through the first half Athletic piled on the pressure before a lot of passing in the Midgewell area led to Lewis prodding the ball on for Littlewood who whammed it into the net in the 35th minute or thereabouts.

The second half began well – after about ten minutes Redman blasted through the Midgewell defence, was robbed by a good tackle and then, as he tried to get up, was hacked down. A penalty!! Roy Garside took it, placing it to the left of the goalie who guessed right and saved it.

That signaled a decline in Athletic’s game. Midgewell began to attack a lot more and at one point they actually hit the foot of the upright. I can always tell when something horrible’s about to happen because I begin to get a strange feeling in my chest and stomach. Sure enough, I got one then and also when Garside missed the penalty. David Littlewood sealed it up half way through the second half with a superb 20 yard shot from the left.

Four wins in a row! They are seventh now, just four points behind third place.

When I got back, Mum and Dad were just finishing their teas. As I ate mine I read the programme and suddenly Mum went out, came back and placed a box in front of me, right where I was reading. My mind wasn’t really plugged in – I was dimly aware that the box was for a radio and somehow I thought it was Mum and Dad’s new one. So I said, “Do you mind!” and pushed the thing away. Embarrassment! It was a present they’d bought me belatedly for passing my ‘O’ levels – obviously I offended them. Mum took on that half-smiling, stepped on look. Why they bought me that I’m not sure but it sounds ungrateful to say I wasn’t pleased. I was, but not enthusiastically. The radio is a portable Ferguson, and the reception is quite good.

I spent my evening watching the television – “The Big Match” and “The Old Grey Whistle Test” and eventually came to bed at midnight. I’ve rambled on to some tune today so I’d better shut up.

Friday, November 14, 1980

Friday November 14th

A pretty average day at school. There were a lot of retakes this morning so we had English in the cookery room P10 with Giles, in which we discussed the need for literature and its role.

In Biology we had practical first two lessons – I was on my own because Mark Pittock was in his Lit. exam – and I was quite desperate at times. I bumbled through. The results were inconclusive though.

I was on second lunch and in the half-an-hour of Biology left we had a pretty easy test. We were allowed to leave ten minutes early so I went up to the library where I found Claire Pearson, Sharon Ashton, Lee Hoy and Duncan Verity playing table tennis without bats or net on the library table. Soon I was involved.

And finally, we had History fifth period although there was some confusion over whether or not we had to go across to the Sports Hall to do a ‘rehearsal’. In the lesson Ingham asked us for our opinions of the course so far; he got a pretty negative response. There was a sense of being left out on the way home in the rain. Why can’t I shut my self piteous mouth?

Oh, another thing. I had my careers interview at 10.40 a.m in B18 with Mr. Beech. We discussed the usual things; what I want to do after ‘A’ level (university) and what subjects I’m most likely to want to take. He ended up writing three booklet titles down; History, Politics (including International Relations), and Oriental Studies (including African Studies). In a funny sort of way he seemed bored and not really bothered – it must get hard dealing with everyone in a conveyer belt way. I also asked him about the possibility of going to university in the USA – he said it could be feasible depending on cost and told me to write to the Educational Attaché at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square.

I had my usual boring afternoon at home before seven o’clock when I had to start ‘getting ready’ for the presentation evening. I loathe ‘getting ready’ – the whole concept is so corny and old fashioned. Mum and I had a big argument over me wearing a tie and jacket or not – I refused to, saying that everyone else would be going casually dressed, not dolled up to the eyeballs. She ended up saying that she never wanted to go anywhere with me again. As it was, I was wrong. I did go in jacket and tie and so did loads of others. I didn’t get the jeering mocking from people I’d half-feared.

The Presentation Evening passed off without incident or interest – I got my certificates and after listening to boring speeches from local councilors and our terrible madrigal group, and after drinking coffee in the dining hall with everyone else we came home.

On Saturday I’m going to go to Easterby, buy some dye to do my white shirts and see Athletic. Perhaps I may even have my hair cut!

Thursday, November 13, 1980

Thursday November 13th

The play went off OK – even less response than before from the third years – and I can appreciate the glamour associated with ‘acting’. At the end of the performance, which lasts approximately 10-15 minutes, we had to do a bow before the audience – embarrassing with a capital E. We all agreed that todays was the worst performance to date, with quite a lot of ad libs necessary to keep fluency as cues were lost and tapes malfunctioned.

I sat in the library next to Deborah Blakey pretending to complete my English quotations from “Anthony and Cleopatra” for Slicer. English of that kind is so boring.

Jeremy and Richard Houlding were playing tennis so things were quite quiet. I had plenty of opportunity to think things through – how I compare to that seventh year lad as good company (Shit!, what a childish comment). Yet that is how my mind operated and my thoughts went. The whole tone and level of conversation is so superficial – they still don’t know me properly – and I can well imagine how well they know the seventh former. It is horrible – whenever I see him I find my self checking around, fearing to find Claire or Deborah anywhere near. I should resign myself to reality, that they probably don’t think twice about me apart from as someone to talk to.

English and English were exciting and interesting again, as was Art. During the hour before Art-departure, I messed about the common room with Lee Hoy, Richard Houlding and Tommy Whelan, thinking all the while about the above and wondering what they were doing.

I watched TV all evening, even though I have some homework for tomorrow – there were more Voyager pictures on ITN – even better ones showing Rhea in close up. There was a brilliant programme on from nine until ten on BBC2 – “Great Train Journeys of the World” Part 3, featuring a journey from Bombay to Cochin (I think!).

My round-the-world idea seemed more readily available like that – two of us with rucksacks could go across India for £30! All train departure/arrival times would be arranged before-hand and all together it would be superb, and easy.

Presentation evening tomorrow – I’m not looking forward to it.

Wednesday, November 12, 1980

Wednesday November 12th

First free period I went into the library and there He was, sat next to C.P. and opposite M. C. and D. B. As I had to do my English for Hirst, I sat at the side with my back to them, and with a horrible knot of jealousy in my stomach.

After I had finished off the above, I went and played tennis with Lee Hoy. The weather was good – perfectly clear but cold – and it was made even better when I beat him 6-3, 6-4.

I’d more or less become resigned to what was happening. During English, which went quite quickly, and during dinnertime I thought a bit about it. What Deborah B. said during dinner – “…. And when ‘Chelle came and sat next to me, it just worked out right” – obvious to what and whom they were referring.

Yet it is so frustrating – in English I sometimes get the slight feeling that those half-smiles of CP are directed at me – I’m most likely distorting the thing out of all proportion. They are going to another party tonight.

Tomorrow we do the play (for the third years) once more so it’s an eight o’clock start.

On ITV's News At Ten, I saw the latest Voyager 1, Saturn pic’s. Close approach was only a couple of hours or so after the news, and the latest pictures show the rings to be made up of thousands of separate rings. Mimas has a huge crater on one hemisphere, with a large central peak – Dione has large rilles and Tethys has ice streaks. Already they’ve discovered three new satellites, bringing the total to thirteen.

Tuesday, November 11, 1980

Tuesday November 11th

I got up at ten past seven, and after having a cup of tea I went by half-past. The morning was very similar to last Wednesdays; I set all the chairs out while everyone helped construct the set. There was a short period of desperation when the speakers etc., couldn’t be found, but soon we’d all set everything out.

The thing got a better response from the fourth years than it did from our lot, although some of the cracks went unnoticed. Jeremy fluffed his lines right at the beginning and as I twanged away happily, a string bust, leaving me with just three strings.

History first period was free (well, “private study”) so I wrote out a chronology of March-November 1917 for third period. Biology was as crap as ever, with Wade fumbling her way through as she always does, and in History we were given yet more text books out. I got one on the theory of revolutions today – “Modern Revolutions.”

I played tennis for my next two periods with Jeremy. The weather was quite good – a bit cold, but otherwise perfect. As usual, I took ages to warm up and was only leading 5-2 in the first set because of Beaumont’s corny play. He battled back and beat me 5-7, and he also won the second set 2-6. I pulled a muscle in my right ankle just before we finished and it’s really painful.

I wasted my hour after school sat in the common room with Lee and Rich’ Houlding. What a bloody boring life I lead. It really struck me – what do I do that is remotely interesting?, and that’s the only reason I like school so much, because I enjoy the company. If I didn’t go to school I’d vegetate. From one evening to the next, all I do is watch television or play records. I tried to think of the last time I went out to a social do, involving more people than say two or three. Apart from family things, it was the school leavers party at Lodgehill in summer 1977!! I just wish . . . . . . .

All this self-pity was brought on because I couldn’t stop thinking about what Pearson and Blakey told me yesterday. I’m jealous in a way, I know – jealous over that seventh year and their obvious enjoyment of his company. Why am I like I am!!? WHY?

I’m just being bloody silly now, but it’s hard. I feel so mixed up.

Monday, November 10, 1980

Monday November 10th

Arrived late and found that everyone had gone into Ass. Along with Sharon Ashton and a seventh year lad I had to go into the Sports Hall while the assembly was in progress.

For my free periods in the morning I was doing my Biology in the Library along with Deborah Blakey, Mark Pittock and the usuals. In History in C7 period 3, we finally began the Revolution proper, and Ingham gave us a kind of introductory talk on Great Men in history. He also gave us five essay titles to choose one from – I chose the hardest, no. 5, about the Revolution’s correlation with Marx’s theory of History.

Period four was for “private study,” in other words, a real old toss around, during which we all messed about in the library in between being told to be quiet by Ingham. We all talked a lot; Claire Pearson quoting “Romeo and Juliet” to me to prove that she had memorised it for the exam last summer. Then I had to go to Biology – another mundane lesson – and the end of school was marked by everyone trekking up for a debate, which ultimately didn’t take place.

Since Duncan Verity and Jeremy had some readings for the Presentation evening to rehearse, me, Lee, Claire Pearson and Deborah Blakey stayed on in the common room until 3.40 pm. We tidied the place up and I dried the pots (more than I ever do at home).

Today I discovered some things which surprised me in a way. The girls were talking among themselves about something; something to do with themselves and Evelyn Aylott and after much fuss they decided to tell us. What followed was a lengthy spiel about how they used to go out with a seventh year lad and an ex-seventh former – they still go to parties with them – and how they all fancied one another in varying degrees – “He fancies me but is shy and anyway, since Evelyn fancies him he doesn’t want to upset her . . .” (CP) – and how they all intend going camping together. Once you get to know people, it’s amazing how wrong superficial impressions are. Apparently Blakey and Pearson regularly go to parties with these people and seem to have quite vigorous social lives.

This made me think. For much of the time I was only half listening to what I was being told for I was thinking; about how wrong I had been (in every way) and what a boring life I lead. I never ever go out on ‘social’ occasions, and although really they’re not my scene (man), it would be good to just occasionally go out somewhere with mates and see people, do things.

As I walked home with them I again underwent a fusillade of tales of love and “snogging” (as CP referred to it). They ended up hotly defending their reputations – “we’re quite good really” – and by the time I reached home I felt abysmal yet good, in a weird way – abysmal in that my social life isn’t, and that I must seem thoroughly boring, yet good over their apparent willingness to communicate with me. We got quite pally on the way back. I cant get over it, the things they said had happened – I wouldn’t have believed it, especially of them. Yet I suppose that it is they who are the normal ones and I the freak. Yet how do you get involved!!?

When I got home I watched the live reportage of the second ballot for the Labour Party leadership; Foot won by 139 votes to Healey’s 129; and I can’t say I’m not pleased. In the evening I drew my self portrait – corny – for Art tomorrow and completed my Biology before coming to bed early.

Athletic won for the third successive time – 3-0 at Walshey. Littlewood scored all three goals. They are ninth now.

Tomorrow I have to do this bloody assembly for the 4ths. I’m not as nervous as I was before (not yet anyway).

This afternoon though, amazing!

Sunday, November 9, 1980

Sunday November 9th

The Armistice Day parade was on television when I got up. It was just the same as always, with the walk past of all the ex-war veterans, during which Mum cried. It was quite sad – all that experience, all those memories and they’re all so old now. Today’s ceremonies have been much more anti-war than ever I can remember – not the expected “God was on our side” type thing, but much more of a pacifist style programme, showing the graves of dead Germans in France etc.

Robert and Carol left after this and I sat around doing nothing. All I did until five o’clock was read the paper or work out various home and away tables for the North. Alliance (Athletic are 13th). At teatime, more Armistice Day progs were on – “Songs of Praise” etc., - and I had my hair washed. I had an history essay to do and I sat about until by the time I actually wrote the first word down it was 9.30 pm. I worked at it, on and off, until 2.30 a.m tomorrow morning.

And that was my day!

Saturday, November 8, 1980

Saturday November 8th

A nothing day, in a way. Considering what had been said on Thursday just after school, I tidied my bedroom up and tried to look at the house through visiting eyes. I obviously take things too seriously, for nothing happened, noone came.

At one o’clock I set off for Moxthorpe Library. I had only one book due back – “August 1914” by Tuchman, which was overdue (just), and I wandered down to the library partly just for the walk. It wasn’t very cold, but everything displayed a kind of wet freshness and chilliness. I got three books out; “Cruising the Sahara” by Gerard Morgan-Grenville (about cruising around N. Africa via Land-Rover, a sort of guide); “The Case for South Africa” by David de Villiers and “Ramayana,” a translation in prose from a 2000-year old Indian epic.

On the way back I half-toyed with the idea of wandering down to Moxthorpe AFC ground to see if anything was going on, but lethargy won the day and I didn’t bother. As it was, I met Sean Barker and we both went down to Simon Dyson’s, at No. 15 Egley Lane. Barker is currently on the dole after being sacked from a job where he made transformers, for not working hard enough. Simon is earning £72 a week (untaxed) at Keddon Sports Centre, where he is “supervisor.” It is amazing, the difference between school and work. That was really one of the main reasons for me stopping on at school – the jump from school to work is so great I think. There should be courses run to help people make the change, money-management or something, because S. D. said that he has so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it all.

We hung around Dyson’s for a while and then wandered up Saxcliffe Drive and down Briar Avenue just talking about ‘old times.’ My friendship with them, when compared with Beaumont, Pearson and Duncan Verity is strange; the two are so apart, so opposite. We ended up at Barker’s house (50 Egley Road), where he gave us some coffee while we watched the classified results. Athletic won 1-0 at Holmeshaw, thanks to Garside. Second win in succession means that they’re only about eleventh now.

I got a shock when I got in – Robert and Carol had appeared. Robert bought a new car, a Renault-5 (‘N’ reg., Feb’ 1977) last night, so he came across here to show us it. As I talked with him, all I could think of was that bloody radio – what’s he going to say?!! We spent a social evening, everyone supping ale and watching the Remembrance Day thing on tele’ – corny when it is made into a semi-religious thing, as if God was on our side. It’s insulting to the Church to be associated with all that butchery.

I came to bed late again, after watching the “Old Grey Whistle Test.” Tomorrow is History essay day again. I can hardly wait (!!).

Friday, November 7, 1980

Friday November 7th

After English and a period of Biology Lee Hoy and I went up to the bus turning circle for 10.55 a.m. We were going to see the Cosgrove Hall Animation place with a 5th-year English set 2 – a right set of morons. We sat at the front in the coach, across the aisle from Mrs Slicer (Jemima Morag according to Lee) and Ms Hirst. We indulged in quite eye-to-eye conversation – all rather elitist. It’s surprising how you feel more in common with the teachers than the rest of the school when in the sixth form, yet the complete opposite is true in the 5th year.

The weather on the way there was dismal, especially over the Pennines. We wiled away the hours by counting the number of clone like old blokes around Haley Hill, Midgeroyd areas. At the end of the day we had a final count of 22 flat caps, 14 trilbys and 10 bare-heads. I’m never going to be like that when I’m old.

We reached Cosgrove Hall; an ugly cinema-style building; at about one or thereabouts. Inside all was plush and plasticky – large cardboard cutouts of Captain Kremmen, Danger Mouse etc, stood around – and we were duly shepherded into a small projection room. We watched three cartoons; the first being a serial which will be released in the summer of 1981. It was called “Danger Mouse” and had the old theme of mouse/superhero with thick assistant (“Penfold”). The animation was quite good but the voice of the mouse just didn’t fit I thought. The second film was a puppet thing called “Far Out Fred,” featuring a hippy frog with a broad northern accent (by Mike Harding). It was quite funny. And finally we had an episode of Captain Kremmen. If the animation team were hoping for a favourable response to “Danger Mouse” then they would’ve been disappointed, for the reaction was nil, neither good nor bad.

After these we were split into two groups and taken through the various departments – animation the workshop, editing etc., before having a coke and leaving. Worth £2.25? I don’t know. As for animation, I know now that it is too tedious for me.

The journey back was, as far as weather was concerned, as corny as before and we got back to Egley at about 6.30 p.m. I had a bath for most of the evening, going to bed feeling nice and clean at my normal late time.

Thursday November 6th

Nothing for the first three lessons so we stayed in the library. Outside the weather was really foul again and inside the atmosphere wasn’t too hot. The VIIth years were complaining again about Duncan Verity’s noise in the library – we accused them of hypocrisy. I mean, there are never any things said when they are talking. They seem to think they are above blame. I didn’t play Jeremy at tennis – I took my racquet and games kit OK but he thoughtlessly decided to play Rich’ Houlding instead – this leaving me feeling a bit hurt. D. Blakey seemed to agree that he was thoughtless – “It’s taken Claire three years to get to know him properly . . .”

After English (Lee Hoy and I are going to see an animation studio tomorrow with fifth year set 2 English) we slumped around the common room doing nothing in particular, except talk to Blakey and Pearson or help them tidy up (C. P. – “Would you mind if we came round to your house on Saturday?” – Me: “No, not particularly. If you want to waste your time like that . . !” . . . She is a fanatic for neatness – she went all round the common room arranging the tables and chairs or picking up little pieces of paper).

Art College was funny, more of a social occasion again. (And, triviality here Lee said that he thinks Deborah Blakey fancies me (!)).

As soon as I got home I had to plunge into my homework. The house was really moody today; Dad seemed impatient; Mum fed up and with the general untidiness of the place it all started to feel rather claustrophobic. I managed to eventually start at 9.00 p.m. with my Biology essays. I completed these and rushed off an analysis of Owen’s “Futility” at about midnight – I still have Hirst’s “Persuasion” notes to complete.

A strange day today in a way (it rhymes!).

Wednesday, November 5, 1980

Wednesday November 5th

I had to get up early to be in school for 7.30. I shouldve known I would have had no difficulty in waking in time – I didn’t sleep from 3.30 onwards, my terrible nerves keeping me in a fitful doze. I finally arose at 6.45 with Dad to find that the cat had crapped all over the kitchen floor. The stink was so strong I was glad to get out.

Everyone started arriving soon and by eight we were well under way in a rehearsal. I got donned up in my costume – Crabtrees green kaftan, Andrews holey jeans, and some hippy-style beads of Crabtree. She and Claire Pearson also painted a flash of lightning on my left cheek – I had a CND sign painted on my other cheek by Lee Hoy. At one point I was sat there in a chair with Claire painting this thing on my face – bent over me attentively. Anyway, soon all the 6th and 7th years began to roll up and we had to begin. I was operating the main curtain.

The thing went off OK, apart from the odd slip-up – quite amazing considering the cock ups of yesterday. It seemed to get a good response from the audience – when Duncan appeared in his auburn wig and horn-rimmed spec’s the place was in fits. I can understand what a thrill acting can provide – I almost started to enjoy the experience. My turn was OK but in retrospection it must’ve seemed pointless because C. P. forgot to place the perfunctory penny in my bowl. People said later that they didn’t know why I was there.

After the thing had finished we all stood about for ten minutes congratulating each other. From what St. John was saying it looks as if we will have to do the play to the 3rds, 4ths and 5ths (I say ‘we’ as if I had some great part in the play).

Third lesson was Bastow’s tutorial, all about the phonetic alphabet and in fourth period I received my Ant + Cleo essay back – I got a B. In Hirst’s lesson we each had a five minute ‘talk’ with Hirst concerning our Uppercross/Kellynch essays – mine wasn’t as good as it should’ve been she said – like an Indian egg (no innards, all decoration). Suddenly it seems all the work is building up again – I’ve got loads (mainly English) to do for Friday.

When I got home I finally had the news confirmed. R. Houlding told me this morning that Reagan had won – a landslide victory – and on the news I heard that it was true. Reagan: 51%; Carter: 41%; Anderson: 7% - turnout 52%. RONALD REAGAN!!!??

He is not intelligent enough. He has an ex-CIA man, Bush, for vice-president and generally I don’t know what to expect.

Talk of this at teatime led on to an argument with Dad about Iran – he was saying that the Shah was much better than Khomeini and I countered by saying that Khomeini was at least popular (in Iran). One thing led to another and it ended up with me saying that “the old ways are bunk.” I regretted it – I know I was arguing for the sake of arguing (as Dad said; “if I said white was white you’d say it was black”). For once I felt in the wrong, for being so foundlessly ‘anti-Dad.’

In the evening I played records and listened to the bangs and cracks from all around , as it was fireworks night. I watched “Parkinson” (Spike M.) later on.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, I am going to have Jeremy a game of tennis.

Tuesday, November 4, 1980

Tuesday November 4th

After History, Biology and History periods one, two and three, I spent the day in the drama area fiddling around. The play seemed so nebulous and the ‘actors’ so out of coordination that it began to appear as if the thing was going to end up in chaos. During this bodging around Flatters and Wallis kept appearing dragging with them huge groups of kids from Egley Middle School and similar places I expect – to them the goings on must’ve appeared very adult and out of touch – I know how I regarded such things at that age.

After school a rehearsal was held once more – it was terrible. My bit went off OK, Newsholme seemed to enjoy it (the play, not particularly my part, I mean). Things seem to be reaching a climax of activity.

I didn’t really enjoy Art College – I don’t know. Things, conversations, etc, just didn’t seem to go right. We are messing around with colour at the moment. The weather is terrible – cold mainly, really cold.

I came home feeling miserable over the immediate prospects; that awful hollow feeling which overtakes my stomach had begun to make itself felt once more. It must be something to do with nerves.

I sat in the dining room feeling really low for a quarter-of-an-hour or so when Dad rang to ask me if I was going to see Athletic tonight. If I was, he would pick me up on his way home from work. I said yes, although I’d forgotten about the match. I set off at seven and got to the ground just as the whistle was about to go. There weren’t many people there (205 I found out later), in fact the ground looked almost deserted.

I really enjoyed the match, for it was heart-warming to see the skillful Athletic attacks, sometimes involving only three or four men, blast in on corny Scawcroft Main’s defence. The opposition, especially in defence, was trite, the only redeeming feature being their No. 2, Cotton. Goal number 1 for Easterby came after half-an-hour when Scawcroft mistakes left two of their defenders on the floor and the rest milling around desperately. The ball was crossed and flicked about before Littlewood rushed in and booted the ball home. The goal was almost identical to the one Walshey scored early on this season to equalize at 1-1.

The second half started well – Newlands headed in No. 2 after 49 minutes and Athletic seemed to be playing games. The whole ground was pervaded with an optimistic, jovial atmosphere; mainly because of the lowly standard of opposition.

We got home at about 9.45 p.m., and I was in a much better mood than earlier. The hollow feeling remained, and I felt almost like a condemned prisoner enjoying himself on the night before.

Monday, November 3, 1980

Monday November 3rd

Back into the old routine again. During the first two lessons I hung around in the drama area with L. Hoy, D. Verity and J. Beaumont – they’re rehearsing for the play on Wednesday – and since they needed a two way adaptor for the tape recorder I volunteered to go home and get one. It only took me twenty minutes there and back, quite good considering. The weather was bitterly cold in the morning with all frost on the ground.

In History I became involved in quite a lengthy debate with Ingham on what effect World War One had on the downfall of Tsarism – I said that considering all the turmoil within Russia the rôle of any external forces, while magnifying and accelerating the process, wouldn’t have swayed the issue – it was almost inevitable. He disagreed in a way.

During the day Lee mended my radio that he and the rest had broken during last Wednesday’s rehearsal and since I had nothing better to do (lying swine, I quite jumped at the chance) I went to after school rehearsals. I sat and watched, along with Deborah Blakey, and during the interval I said that the break (during which the audience was to listen to a prerecorded message from Churchill and very patriotic music) was too long, especially since all the audience had to look at was a green curtain. We suggested that some inter-scene activity should occur and after much discussion, during which the play seemed to be becoming embroiled in detail, they finally decided on a newspaper seller/street scene. Then, horror of horrors!, Crabtree roped me in. I was to saunter on with guitar slung over my back, sit down cross-legged on the table, twang a few notes and then saunter off. Crabtree has lent me her old green Kaftan and is bringing her Afghan coat – God!, during the run throughs I was awful – self-conscious and blushing. It’ll be worse because I’m near the audience. Oh God!!

EAS in the evening was the usual boring Jack Greaves /D. Kilpatrick combination. “Arcturus” is encountering printing problems and it’s likely that it’ll now appear as a 40 page edition, once a year. Afterwards, I went across to NB’s and watched the Monday film and “Film 80” before coming to bed at 11.45 pm.

This play; even though my rôle is minimal and I’m a non-speaker; it’s still going to be really bad. All those people watching me, so closely too! I’ll blush like mad, I know! I’d better go – my feet are killing me with cramp.

Sunday, November 2, 1980

Sunday November 2nd

I had a weird dream last night (this morning really). It was really vivid; the colours, the people, everything bright. It was about the play that Beaumont is doing. I dreamt that I had gone back to school and in the dining hall a huge marquee type thing had been erected – the play had become different from the one I was familiar with, new dialogue etc., and this time (and this is stupid) they had fireworks and huge piles of apples (!!) which would come rolling on at the end of the play. Most of the audience was involved and a few of us at the back, including Craig Hewitson from Lodgehill, were watching. I’ve mentioned the dream particularly because the colours were so vivid and the people so real.

Anyway, I got up at eleven and just lounged around doing nothing in particular. After dinner Mum and Dad and Nanna P. went out for a run to Bolton Abbey and came back just before three.

Today there was a weird feeling around, almost expectant as if the day was special for some reason. Perhaps it’s school tomorrow that did it. I didn’t do anything much the rest of the afternoon apart from listen to records downstairs and do my football leagues, in which I’m halfway through the third season.

It’s 11.13 as I’m writing this; I haven’t done a stroke of work all week which is pretty predictable, and I’ve got some Biology questions to complete for Wade, which I’ll most likely attempt free periods tomorrow.

Saturday, November 1, 1980

Saturday November 1st

I got up late as usual just as Mum and Dad brought Nanna P. They’d also been to order a £200 fridge-freezer. I did pretty much nothing all morning and after dinner I had my hair washed. I was, at this stage, intending to go see Athletic v Ingleborough Town but gradually, as I realised my hair wasn’t drying quickly and I felt the icy temperature outside I went off the idea although I ended up feeling guilty almost.

I was trapped in the dining room all afternoon with NP, Kenneth, Shirley, Melissa, Tracy, “Nicky,” Ian . . . . . . . . . . , and listened to the match on R. North. Athletic scored in the 17th minute through Roy Garside. I listened to the rest of the match in the bath. The final score was 1-1, a good result considering Ingleborough are fourth in the table and Athletic fifteenth.

The evening I spent starting things and never finishing them – I was going to write letters to the Santana Fan Club, the N. C. T. J. etc., yet I never actually finished.

I’m looking forward to school now; the week has been so boring and uncoordinated – I haven’t actually done anything! Also, and I hate to say this, I can’t get certain things, certain people out of my head – as I lay in bed I think continually about them – and this is probably adding to my anticipation. I feel such an idiot writing, thinking this. Same old thing all over again, I know. Just immature puerile crap.

Today was the first day when it was really cold inside without a jumper on – winter is in the air now.

I watched some television in the evening although it annoys me the way everyone just sits there watching what ever’s on. I watched a bit of a programme on BBC2 about the American Presidency and suddenly Mum became really annoyed – it was amazing. She said that she resented being bombarded by depressing politics - . . . “up till that I’d been in a good mood now I feel all screwed up and angry” . . . . “we like to get away from it all at weekends” . . . . “we’re not interested and I’m just not having it” . . . . . . and so on. Jesus! As a result I came to bed feeling just a little hard done to, although I tried hard not to. I could see her point in a way, although she was a bit aggressive.

Friday October 31st

Did nothing. Another one of my aimless days. I got up quite early and it was thick with fog although this soon cleared up at about dinnertime. Mum and Dad went to Knowlesbeck to do the shopping at about one and I laid about listening to records or the radio. They came back at fourish; Mum with a new £40 anorak and Dad with a portable three-waveband radio. Mum seemed thrilled, like a little kid with a new present.

For most of the evening I did my leagues inbetween watching the odd bits on television. I came to bed at 00.50 a.m.

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday was Dad’s UFO sighting which he told me about. He saw it as he was driving to work at five on Thursday morning and said it consisted of a bright, white “flaming onion” which rose fairly quickly above the horizon past two “bright stars” which would be Venus and Saturn. It went so high that the car roof blocked his view of it, but it came back down again before going off swiftly at 90° to one side. It couldn’t have been an aircraft or a weather balloon (or even a satellite) but what it was I don’t know.

Another thing; in the evening today Dad hung a turnip with a candle inside; it had eyes and a mouth cut out and glowed brightly as it hung from the cherry tree – I made him take it down in case anybody who knows me saw it and thought I was responsible. Dad must miss having young children around to please.
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